Ryan Blaney | No. 12 Wabash Ford Mustang
Stage 1: 3rd
Stage 2: 3rd
Race Rundown: Ryan Blaney’s No. 12 Wabash Ford Mustang was a mainstay in the top-five for the duration of Monday’s Wurth 400 at Dover Motor Speedway en route to his second-consecutive top-five finish. Following a third-place showing in Stage 1, the No. 12 team brought Blaney to pit road for four tires and a slight air pressure adjustment to address a tight-handling condition in the early going. Blaney ran second for a majority of the opening run of Stage 2 before the green flag pit cycle began before pitting on lap 195 for four tires and another round of adjustments. He was back to running third following the end of the cycle and held his position through the conclusion of Stage 2. Another long, green flag run to start the final stage saw Blaney run third consistently – even through the green flag pit cycle when crew chief Jonathan Hassler brought the No. 12 to pit road on lap 329. When the caution flag flew on lap 388, Hassler brought Blaney to pit road with the leaders for two right side tires and fuel, allowing him to exit second to line up for the final restart. After choosing the bottom lane coming to the green flag, Blaney battled to fend off the No. 19 of eventual race-winner Martin Truex Jr., but ultimately settled for a third-place finish.
Blaney’s Thoughts: “We put ourselves in a spot to win taking two tires at the end to line up on the front row [on the final restart]. I felt like we ran third all day, so it was nice to get a shot to win the race. I felt like I got a decent restart and stayed side-by-side with [Truex Jr.]. I can’t drive it in any deeper than I did trying to clear him and [Truex Jr.] knew what I was going to do and drove in with me. I thought I had another shot in turns one and two but I just got tight and had to lift and that was the end of that. That was fun, he and I have always raced well together. It’s nice when you can race hard for the win and not have any contact or anything like that.”
“[Dover] is a place we’ve struggled at the last handful of years – especially last year. It’s been a place that hasn’t been very good for our whole organization. We worked really hard in the winter to get better here and was really proud of the whole effort today. Like I said, I felt like we ran third all day long. That’s something to be proud about. You have yourself a shot to win at the end and you run up front all day long, too. It hurts not winning, obviously, but you take the things that you’re proud of and I’m definitely proud of the effort from everybody to figure out how we need to get better at this place and then apply it. That’s definitely something, as a driver, makes me give my team a big thumbs up.”
Blaney is currently 5th in the NASCAR Cup Series driver points standings.